About the festival

Russia-Greece: Together through the centuries
2016 was declared the year of cross strengthening multilateral relations of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Greece.
The launch of the cross years was announced by Russian Presidents Vladimir Putin and Greece Prokopis Pavlopoulos at a meeting on January 15, 2016. The President of Russia noted that Greece is a friendly country with which Russia has unique historical ties.

The governments of both countries have prepared extensive programs in the field of culture, art, sports, science, youth exchange programs, teaching the Greek language in Russia and the Russian language in Greece.

Within the framework of the cross year on the island of Corfu, the first International charity festival of Christian culture "Russia-Greece. Together through the centuries" was held. The festival has become an important cultural event, contributing to the strengthening of friendship and mutual understanding, expansion of cooperation between the two countries.

Russia - Greece "Together through the centuries»
Russia - Greece "Together through the centuries»

Together through the centuries
The friendship between the peoples of Russia and Greece goes back centuries.
In the Northern Black Sea Greeks settled back in the VI-V century BC.
Modern cities, standing on the site of the first Greek settlements such as Theodosia, Yevpatoriya carry Greek names.

In 957, Princess Olga, who ruled the Old Russian state, visited the capital of the Byzantine Empire and accepted the Christian faith. In 988, her grandson, Prince Vladimir Svyatoslavich baptized Ancient Rus, thereby laying a new foundation for the ever-expanding dialogue of Greeks and Slavs.

Russian Church art, philosophical and theological thought originated from the Greek source. The names of many Greek figures who worked on the Russian land became an integral part of Russian culture: Theophanes the Greek — Russian icon painter, Maxim the Greek — Russian Saint, thinker and scientist, Alexander Konstantinovich Ypsilanti — Russian General.

Brothers from the city of Solun (Thessaloniki), the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Cyril and Methodius created the Slavic alphabet and the Church Slavonic language. The Gospel and liturgical texts were translated word by word into the Slavonic language. Church Slavonic for many centuries has become not only the language of worship, but also the language of science and Russian literature.

After the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the establishment of Ottoman rule in Greece, thousands of Greeks sought salvation from cruel persecution by fleeing to Russia. A few decades later, a Greek settlement appeared in Moscow. In the mid-seventeenth century, Greek monks, who brought to Moscow a copy of the miraculous Iveron icon of the Mother of God, was granted the St. Nicholas monastery in China-Town.

Greek scientists and scholars the brothers Ioanniky and Sofrony Likhudi were the first teachers began to create in Moscow Slavic-Greek-Latin Academy — the first Russian higher educational institution, opened in 1687. Outstanding figures of science, state, diplomacy, church, art and culture became graduates of the Academy. Among them: the great scientist-encyclopedist Mikhail Lomonosov, mathematician Leontius Magnitsky, the first Russian doctor of medicine Peter Postnikov, architect Vasily Bazhenov and many others.

In 1755, the theological faculty of the Academy has been allocated in a separate institution known today as the Moscow Theological Academy - a higher educational institution of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Academy itself given the name of the Moscow University.

Numerous Greek scholars, monks, priests and interpreters of spiritual books has not only helped the Russians to absorb the Byzantine culture, but often played an important role in the life of the Russian state. Very revealing in this respect, the fate of Ioan Kapodistrias.

Ioan was born in Corfu on February 11, 1776. After graduating from the course of philosophy and medicine, he entered the diplomatic service. After the liberation of Corfu from French troops by Admiral Ushakov in 1799 he worked as the chief physician of the Russian military hospital in Corfu. In 1800, at the suggestion of Feodor Ushakov, became secretary of the legislative council of the Republic of the Ionian Islands.

After the Ionian Islands were ceded to France, the young politician entered the Russian service, and from 1816 to 1822 he was the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Empire. After the resignation for health reasons, in 1827, count Ioan Kapodistrias was selected governor of Greece for 7 years.

One of the central streets of the Greek capital — Queen Olga Avenue bears the name of Grand Duchess Olga Romanova, granddaughter of Emperor Nicholas I, daughter of his son Konstantin Nikolaevich and Alexandra Iosifovna. Princess Olga is the grandmother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, wife of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Commonwealth of Nations.

Like all children in the family of Grand Duke Constantine, Olga was raised in Orthodoxy, received an excellent education, she knew several languages. Grand Duchess Olga was married to the King of Greece, George I, becoming Queen Consort of Greece.

It is unlikely that there will be another people whose fates are so closely intertwined with the fate of the Russian people. For many centuries, united by one religion and common cultural traditions, the peoples of Russia and Greece supported each other in the struggle for freedom and independence.

From the very beginnings of Russian statehood, which began to take shape even in Kievan Rus, to the present day, the cultural ties and mutual assistance of the Russian and Greek peoples have never been interrupted and continue to develop to this day.


International charity festival of Christian culture "Russia - Greece. Together through the centuries" is not accidentally held on the day of the celebration of the memory of St. Spyridon.
Spyridon of Trimythous is one of the most revered saints in Russia. For many, he became a "sad comforter", "orphaned defender", "the sick man the doctor", "an assistant in adversity." In his honor in Russia put the temples, painted icons, turned to him with prayer and supplication.

Russian people remember and retell numerous cases of miraculous help and intercession of the Saint. One of these cases occurred in 1552, during the third Kazan campaign of Ivan the Terrible (his first two campaigns against the Kazan Khanate were unsuccessful).

On the way from Moscow to Tsar Ivan Vasilyevich Grozny was the appearance of St. Spyridon of Trimythous. The Saint spiritually strengthened the Sovereign in his determination to release from the Nogai usurpers about 800,000 Russian people captured in slavery during robberies and raids on Russian lands. With the blessing of St. Spyridon the storming of Kazan was successful and put an end to the Kazan Khanate. After the victory of the Russian army, in place of the miraculous phenomenon of St. Spyridon, the king built Spiridonyevsky monastery.



Suvorov Alexander Vasilyevich
Another miracle occurred in 1790. Not willing to come to terms with the results of the Russian-Turkish war of 1768-1774, in July 1787 Turkey ultimatum demanded from Russia the return of the Crimea, the refusal of the protection of Georgia and consent to the inspection of passing through the Straits of Russian merchant ships. Without a satisfactory answer, the Turkish government declared war on Russia.

Russian troops under the command of A.V. Suvorov and Prince G. A. Potemkin-Tauric won a series of brilliant victories over the Turks, but the enemy did not agree to accept the terms of peace. Then it was decided to storm the impregnable stronghold of the Danube - the fortress of Ishmael. The Ishmael garrison was 35 thousand men under the command of seraskier Idonly Muhammad Pasha. Suvorov's army consisted of 31 thousand people.

After a close inspection of the fortress, Suvorov's conclusion was disappointing: "Fortress without weaknesses." However, when preparing for the assault, Alexander Vasilyevich said: "Today to pray, tomorrow to study, the day after tomorrow - victory or death!».

Before the start of the battle, Suvorov tried to do everything possible to avoid bloodshed. On December 7, 1790, the commandant of Ishmael was sent an ultimatum demanding to surrender the fortress. To which the answer was received: "Rather, the Danube will flow backwards and the sky will fall to the ground, than Ishmael will surrender." On December 11 at 5:30 am the storming began. By 8 o'clock in the morning all the Turkish fortifications were occupied by Russian troops, resistance on the streets of the city continued until 4 pm. Turkish losses amounted to 29 thousand people killed. The losses of the Russian army amounted to 4,000 people killed and 6,000 wounded.

Marvelous from the military point of view, the assault was victoriously completed when, according to the church time, the next day - December 12, the day of the memory of St. Spyridon of Trimythous came. Therefore, in the Ishmael mosque on the same evening, an Orthodox church was settled and dedicated to the Holy Wonderworker Spyridon of Trimythous, in which a thanksgiving service was served.

The conquest of Ishmael had a significant impact on the further course of the war and on the conclusion in 1792 of the peace of Iasi between Russia and Turkey.



Ushakov Feodor Feodorovich liberated from the French troops the impregnable fortress of Corfu.
The following story occurred in 1799. One of the stages of the aggressive policy of France at the end of the XVIII century was the seizure of the Ionian Islands. In 1797 the revolutionary troops of France ousted the Venetians from Corfu. Emperor Paul I, who greatly revered St. Spyridon as the patron saint of his eldest son, Alexander Pavlovich (born December 12, 1777), decided to free the island of Corfu from the invaders.

Emperor Paul I entered into an alliance with the recent enemy of Turkey, and through the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles to the Mediterranean a united squadron was sent under the command of Vice Admiral Ushakov.

First of all, with the help of small amphibious detachments, he distributed among the inhabitants of the islands an appeal in which he called on the Orthodox Greeks to assist the allied fleet in "overthrowing the unbearable yoke" of the atheist French. The answer was the widespread armed assistance of the population, inspired by the arrival of the Russian squadron.

From October 1 to November 1, 1798, French garrisons, having lost 1,500 killed, wounded and taken prisoner, were knocked out of the islands of Cerigo, Zante, Kefalonia and Santa-Mavra. It remained to release the largest and well-fortified island of the archipelago - Corfu.

The assault began at 7 am on 18 February 1799 from the island of Vido. As a result of the four-hour shelling, all five coastal batteries of the island were suppressed. At 11 o'clock on Vido were two landing parties in number of 2160 people. By 14.00 after two-hour battle the island was taken.

After the fall of Vido, the key to Corfu was in the hands of Ushakov. Located on the occupied island of Russian batteries opened fire on the fortifications of The New and Old fortresses. They were supported by batteries near the village of Mandukkio, from the hill of St. Panteleimon and the nearby ships.

Storming the Bastion of St. Rock went Albanians, but were repulsed. Repeated assault of the Russian-Turkish forces forced the French, riveting guns and blowing up powder cellars, retreat to the fortification of St. El Salvador. But the Russian broke into the Bastion on the shoulders back down and within half an hour of fierce melee they captured it. After some time, the last outpost of The New fortress — the fortification of the St. Abraham fell under the onslaught of the stormtroopers.

On February 19, the storming of The Old and New fortresses was appointed, but in the morning the French sent parliamentarians to discuss surrender. After the negotiations on February 20, 1799, an honorable surrender was accepted. Under its terms, the French were allowed to leave the island with the promise not to participate in hostilities for 18 months.

The next day, Admiral Ushakov, accompanied by commanders of Russian ships, went ashore to perform a thanksgiving prayer. The inhabitants of the island had Feodor Ushakov and his companions the most hearty welcome. Russian sailors, surrounded by a jubilant crowd, with a bell ringing and continuous weapons of the local people, reached the cathedral church of St Spyridon, where a moleben was served. On March 27, on the first day of the Holy Easter, Admiral Ushakov invited the clergy to perform the procession with the carrying of the relics of the Saint of God Spyridon of Trimythous. The people gathered from all the villages and from nearby islands. When carrying out the holy relics from the church, the Russian troops were placed on both sides of the path along which the procession was going; The admiral, his officers, and the first faces of the city supported the shrine with relics; holy relics were enclosed around the walls, and at that time gun and cannon firing was carried out everywhere. All night in the city, glee continued.